Sinéad English of Hilt, a career management services company, writes about what video interviews actually involve, what the common misconceptions and mistakes are and how you can best prepare.
Q: So, what do over 40% of all graduate recruiters including Musgrave, Bank of Ireland, Paddy Power, Ornua, Boston Scientific, Oracle, Dell, IBEC Global Graduates, Enterprise Ireland, Zurich, Accenture, PepsiCo, Tesco, Kerry Group and just about every large Investment Bank have in common?
A: They all use video interviews as part of their assessment and selection process.
Let’s clear up a common miscomprehension here. Video interviews are not Skype interviews. During a video interview there isn’t a real person on your screen giving you encouraging nods as you go through your answers. In a video interview you are asked to record your answers to a series of questions that pop up on the screen every two minutes. There is no-one on the “other side” when you are doing your interview. Once recorded, your answers are then sent to the employer – with no chances for second attempts or re-takes.
Sounds unnerving? How should you prepare? What do you need to know? How does it work?
You receive an email from the employer informing you that you are invited to an interview. So far, so normal. The email contains a link which brings you to an interview site. Employers usually give candidates between 3 – 4 days from sending the invitation to complete the interview. You can do the interview on a laptop, desktop, tablet or phone. The email will contain a candidate briefing with advice on how to access the interview and tips for delivering your best performance.
The employer will set out the structure of the interview in the candidate briefing and will tell you:
- How many questions will be asked (average is approximately 6)
- How long you will have to read each question before you have to start answering (between 30 – 60 seconds)
- How long you will be given to answer each question (usually between 1 to 2 minutes per answer – if you don’t finish within the required time you will be cut off mid sentence! There will be a countdown timer on the screen to keep you on track)
- Possibilities to review your answers and retake each question if you are not happy with your answer – not usually offered
You are asked to run through some online checks to see if the camera and sound on your laptop/desktop computer or phone are working ok. Most employers will allow you to do some practice questions so you can try out the technology and see how you look and sound on camera. Answers to practice questions can be recorded and replayed by you as many times as you want and do not form part of the interview. Your answers to the practice questions won’t be viewed by the employer.
When you are ready to take the interview you click “Start Interview” and the recording starts.
What’s the best way to prepare?
Practise under conditions as close as possible to the ones you will experience in the video interview. Use your phone or laptop to record and time yourself answering commonly asked interview questions. It’s a safe bet to say that in a video interview you will be asked questions like:
- Tell me about yourself
- What motivates you?
- Questions to test key graduate competencies including teamwork, initiative, problem solving and meeting deadlines
- Why do you want to work for our company?
Get used to talking to a blank screen and focusing your eye contact on the camera. Make full use of the practice zone on the video interview invitation you received from the employer. If your first attempt at answering the questions is on the real interview you will more than likely underperform in the real interview. Ask someone to review and critique your recorded responses. Receiving guidance and feedback on your answer content, body language, delivery and interview environment (lighting/sound quality) is by far the best way to ensure you deliver an excellent performance when doing the actual interview.
To help you ace your video interview Hilt has recently launched an innovative online video interview training solution which enables you to simulate real video interview conditions targeted at your industry and get extremely detailed feedback and guidance on how to improve your performance. Visit https://www.wearehilt.com/services-for-individuals/video-interview-training/ to find out more.
For more on preparing for interviews, whatever the format, visit our dedicated interview section on gradireland.com .
The Graduate Careers Fair is a great way to meet recruiters, find out more about employers and industries, and hunt for jobs.
Having top employers under one roof is an invaluable opportunity; where you can have face to face conversations and get in depth information on careers and application processes. However, careers fairs can be overwhelming! We’ve put together our tips on how to get organised to make the most of your time and enjoy all the fun of the fair.
Think ahead: plan your time at the fair
- Check the location of the fair, its opening times and which employers and organisations will be attending. You can do that by clicking here
- Think about why you want to attend and what you want to get from the event. For example, do you want to research an industry sector; pick up information about companies; find out about job or work experience opportunities with particular employers, get info on application processes, or network?
- Decide which employers you definitely want to visit. You can view the floor plan on our gradireland events app and plot a route. You can download the app from the Apple store here or on Google Play here
- You can also use our gradireland app to look at the programme of seminars and panel discussions taking place on the day and create your own seminar schedule.
Top Tip: Seminars and presentations on applications, interviews and assessment centres fill up quickly so note their times and be in the queue early. Also if you plan on attending our CV clinic make sure to check in on arrival and also bring a hard copy of your CV too.
Research employers before you go
Careers fairs are a great way to find out behind the scenes stuff you can’t get from their website. However, recruiters will be busy and your time with them may be short. Prior research means you can quickly get to the details. You’ll also create a much better impression
- Visit employers profiles on the gradireland website to find out what they do (products made/services offered) and to find out more about their graduate roles, skills and qualifications required and recruitment processes.
- Prepare questions to ask recruiters and representatives. These can be about the recruitment process, what skills and qualities are needed, trends in the profession, and so on – take these with you.
- In the days leading up to a fair, scan the news headlines and relevant industry sector pages of quality news websites to get a feel for what’s going on in the sectors that interest you.
Presentation matters if you want to stand out
The jury is out on how you should dress for graduate recruitment fairs. Some say suited and booted, while others say smart casual – it can depend on the profession. Smart casual is usually fine; clean and tidy is vital. It’s important that you are comfortable, but also be professional. Remember how you look is only one part of the presentation package.
When you approach recruiters at fairs:
- Be purposeful, confident and enthusiastic, but also polite and courteous.
- Know what you have to offer – your skills, qualities and experience.
- Be ready with specific questions to ask.
Top tip: Prepare and practice a mini ‘pitch’ about yourself. It doesn’t have to be a hard sell of your skills, just a simple, brief introduction. For example: ‘Hi. My name is John and I’ve just started my final year in engineering at X-factor University. I’m business-minded and I’d like to use this skill alongside my technical abilities. I’m interested in finding out more about supply-chain management roles and I noticed from your website that you have a supply-chain scheme for engineers. Can you tell me more about your scheme and what it involves?
- Arrive early to avoid queues and see recruiters at the start of the day.
- Visit your top priority employer after you’ve talked with one or two others – this gives you a chance to warm up and build your confidence.
- Don’t hunt in a pack. If you go with friends, split up to make better use of your time. Even more importantly, this will show recruiters that you are a capable, independent individual.
Make notes for future reference
Take a notepad and pen to write down the names and contact details of people you meet and to record any useful information you glean. Once you leave an employer’s stand, move to one side and take a moment to record your impressions:
- What makes the organisation different?
- Would you be happy working with these people?
- What did you find out that made you feel you would fit in? How would you be able to use your skills within the organisation?
You may find that you refer to contacts you made and information you found out at careers fairs in applications and interviews.
Top tip: Graduate careers fairs are good opportunities to practice basic interview techniques. Think about how you will respond to typical interview questions: What do you know about us? What interests you about working for us? What attracts you to a career in this industry? What skills and qualities do you think would be important for this role/our company?
Most importantly don’t forget to register for the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair taking place next Wednesday October 4th in the RDS Simmonscourt from 11am until 5pm. You can get your ticket free here!
Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair is taking place on Wednesday 4th October 2017 in the RDS Simmonscourt. This event is your opportunity to meet leading employers, course providers, careers advisors and find out all the opportunities available to you!
Still not convinced? We have put together five reasons why you should attend Ireland’s largest graduate careers event!
It’s Ireland’s Official and Best* Graduate Careers Fair
Whether you are job hunting, want to find out more about further study or simply career curious about all the opportunities available to you, the Graduate Careers Fair has everything you need. Also did we mention that the Graduate Careers Fair *won best exhibition in the national Event Industry Awards 2016?
Face to face interaction with leading employers
This is your chance to make a great first impression with over 120 of Ireland’s top employers, who are all actively recruiting students, graduates and young professionals in a whole range of disciplines. Make a list of the exhibitors you would like to speak to, bring along your CV and get networking; this is your time to shine!
A killer seminar schedule
This year we have really outdone ourselves when it comes to our seminar schedule. Whether it’s advice about writing the perfect CV or cover letter, employability skills or top interview tips and hints, we have something for you! Check out the full list of seminars on our website.
So you have had a list of employers that you may be interested in applying to put together. Now you have to create the perfect CV and cover letter to show off all your experience and skills. The Graduate Careers Fair will host a CV clinic, providing more than 50 hours of expert advice from career professionals – but make sure to get there early to secure your spot as the CV clinic fills up really quickly!
Your one stop shop for job hunting and advice
In final year? Be smart with your time- meet all the key people, find invaluable information and discover all the different opportunities available to you all in one day under one roof! Best of all – it’s completely free to attend by registering at graduatecareersfair.com
See you there 🙂
The Food and Drink sector is growing and thriving with new opportunities for graduates developing all the time. However, as Hannah Kelly explains, a new report has highlighted skill gaps graduates will need to fill if they are to be successful in the industry.
The recently released Food Wise 2025,a report compiled by the Department of Agriculture & Food, sets out a plan for the development of the agri-food industry over the next decade, said they expect to see a further 23,000 jobs created, including the creation of additional graduate programmes, over the next ten years in the Irish Food and Beverage Sector.
“The Food and Drink sector has grown strongly over the period from 2010 to 2016 and has recovered”, the report said. “Employment in the sector increased to 54,000 in 2016, an increase of 6,600 from 2009.”
To achieve further growth though, it was stressed that gaps in skills required for the sector need to be addressed. Graduates eager to work in this sector should aim to focus on developing skills in the following areas that the report highlighted:
- Think internationally: Develop your knowledge of, and skills in, international trade and logistics. Companies also place a high emphasis on language and multi-cultural skills. More specifically in this area you should work on developing experience in customer management, dealing with international customers and suppliers and supply management.
- Innovation: In particular, companies are looking for graduates with production development skills. More specifically the report identified gaps in portfolio management, packaging technology and design engineering. Talk to your careers advisor or look up companies who could help you bridge this skills gap.
- IT and Numeracy: Employers are looking for graduates with good numeracy and IT skills no matter what section of the company you’ll be in. These skills are particularly useful as companies seek to merge roles within their organisations through automated manufacturing procedures.
- Supply Chain Management: Focus on customer requirements and standards, managing money effectively and reducing inventory levels. These are all skills companies are looking for in potential employees no matter what part of the business you might be working in.
- Leadership: In the gradireland Graduate Salary and Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey, we found that 37.1% of employers identified lack of leadership hard skill shortfalls. Being able to demonstrate the potential to lead a team is important as both more strategic and engaged leadership is a skill gap identified in the industry.
- Financial and Commercial Acumen: As mentioned above, a lot of companies are moving towards less structured roles, with cross-functional teams and a broader variety of work the ever increasing norm. This means no matter where you are in the business; you’ll be expected to have good financial and commercial judgement.
For more information on different career sectors visit: https://gradireland.com/career-sectors
Ireland’s 100 leading graduate employers reveals Ireland’s most sought-after employers from the perspective of those that matter most – the students and graduates who will provide the next generation of innovators and leaders in Irish business.
The Ireland’s 100 leading graduate employers survey is part of the European Student Barometer, the largest pan-European survey of graduate trends and is conducted by Europe’s leading graduate research firm, trendence. The data produced decide the winners of Ireland’s 100 and the winners of the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards and contribute also to a wider study across all 24 European Union countries.
You can find more information in gradireland’s book Ireland’s 100 leading graduate employers, published every Autumn and the 2016 edition is still available to view via gradireland.com/publications.
In the second of a series of articles, we continue to look at where the graduate class of 2015 are, based upon the HEA’s recently released ‘What do graduates do? The class of 2015’.
This survey, the 25th of its kind, was published on February 15th and, mostly, points to an optimistic prognosis when it comes to graduate careers in Ireland. However, when it comes to the relevance of qualifications, there are quite differing views depending on the level of qualification and the sector of employment.
Graduates and qualifications
For graduates of 2015, 62% of Honours Bachelor Degree holders rated the relevance of their qualifications as relevant or most relevant to their current area of employment. Meanwhile, 76% of graduates with Higher Diplomas and Postgraduate Diplomas found their qualifications more relevant or most relevant to their work. 70% of Masters and Doctorate graduates rate their qualification as relevant or most relevant to their work, while interestingly, 11% rate it as irrelevant or most irrelevant.
62% of graduate with Honours Bachelor Degrees found that their educational qualification was relevant/most relevant to the area of employment, compared to 59% with a Masters or Doctorate qualification. This compares to Higher and Postgraduate Diploma graduates who have the lowest level of satisfaction, with just 53% viewing their qualification to be relevant/most relevant to their area of employment.
Employed in Ireland and Overseas
Agriculture, Forestries, Fisheries & Veterinary, Helath and Welfare and Education Honours Bachelor Degree graduates reported the highest levels of relevance between their employment and education, at 86%, 84% and 82% respectively.
The majority of Masters and Doctorate graduates, as would be expected, reported high levels of relevance between their educational qualification and their employment. Fields that rated their education particularly relevant included Health and Welfare (86%), Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction (82%) and Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary (80%).
Interestingly, high proportions of Arts & Humanities graduates rated their education as irrelevant/most irrelevant to their employment, with 51% of Honours Degree holders, 26% of Higher or Postgraduate Diploma holders and 29% of Masters and Doctorate holders of this opinion.
In our next article, we’ll look at graduate salaries for the graduates surveyed for the report. The entire report can be downloaded here. For further analysis of trends in different sectors, download the 2017 edition of gradireland’s Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers, the largest independent student survey of final year students in Irish universities, north and south.
In the first of a series of articles, we’ll be taking a look at where the graduate class of 2015 are, based upon the HEA’s recently released ‘What do graduates do? The class of 2015’.
This survey, the 25th of its kind, was published on February 15th and, mostly, points to an optimistic prognosis when it comes to graduate careers in Ireland.
There were 18,526 students surveyed, with qualifications between levels 8-10.
Overall, 68% are in employment, with 57% employed in Ireland and a further 11% are working overseas. Only 6% of all graduates surveyed are still seeking employment nine months after graduation.
Those with Honours Bachelor Degrees
From the class of 2014, nine months after graduation, 58% were in employment. This has risen to 62% for the class of 2015, with the vast majority (85%) of them working in Ireland. Only one in ten graduates are going overseas to seek their first job, with the UK still viewed as the most favourable destination.
In terms of where the jobs are in different sectors, there is still a huge demand for teachers, and graduates in this area have the highest rates of employment. After education, IT has the highest proportion of employed graduates, at 70%, which reflects the consistent growth in this area.
One of the stranger results of the study was that graduates who were awarded a pass degree demonstrated the highest levels of employment (74%) while those who received a first-class Honours degree had the lowest, at 57%. The reverse is true in terms of progression into further study. While this finding is unusual, it is perhaps attributable to the fact that a higher award is necessary for acceptance into postgraduate study, with those who obtain first class honours more likely to pursue further study.
Those with Higher & Postgraduate Diplomas
78% of those with these Diplomas are in employment, up from 76% from the class of 2014, with 75% employed in Ireland, compared to 68% from the class of 2014. This has led to only 3% seeking employment overseas, down from 8% in the previous year’s research.
Those with Masters/Doctorates
80% of Masters and PhD graduates are in employment, with 64% finding work in Ireland and the remainder overseas, with the UK the most popular. The sectors with the highest rates of employment for Masters and doctoral students were Business, Administration & Law and Education students at 87% and 86% respectively.
In our next article, we’ll look at the relevance of each qualification for the graduates surveyed for the report. The entire report can be downloaded here. For further analysis of trends in different sectors, download the 2017 edition of gradireland’s Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers, the largest independent student survey of final year students in Irish universities, north and south.